When the new MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Orange Coast Medical Center opened this past spring, the mission was simple: to improve patients’ lives by relieving pain and restoring independence.

“We are in essence redefining joint surgery. Our program is designed to move patients from surgery to rehabilitation as quickly as possible, maybe even on the same day. It may seem aggressive, but the sooner they are up and moving, the sooner they will have their lives back,” says Timothy Gibson, MD, orthopedic surgeon and medical director of the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Orange Coast Medical Center.

Staggering Statistics

Each year in the United States, surgeons perform more than 600,000 total knee replacements and nearly 300,000 total hip replacements, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Because they are such effective long-term solutions, the demand for hip revision procedures is projected to double by the year 2026, while the number for knee revisions could double by 2015.

“All too often our presurgical patients can barely walk or stand up straight because the pain is so debilitating,” says Dr. Gibson. “They don’t have to live that way. Our goal is to improve their quality of life.”

It Takes Support

A team of experienced surgeons, nurses and licensed physical therapists offers comprehensive care – from diagnosis and treatment to education and recovery. The process of preparing for surgery begins well before the actual procedure. Patients attend preoperative workshops led by a joint coordinator to gain a better understanding of their care and recovery. After surgery, patients participate in physical therapy classes with other joint replacement patients in an environment of support and healing.

“As part of our unique approach, we also encourage patients to designate a ‘coach’ who will help motivate them before and after surgery. This can be a family member, friend or anyone who will partner with them on their journey to wellness,” says Dr. Gibson. “We realize how difficult this process can be. We are here every step of the way to ensure a faster recovery so patients can get back to doing the things they love.”